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Developer's Room
aka: Developer Room

"Congratulations! You found me! Here, have some points."
Christy Marx, Conquests of the Longbow

The Developer's Room is an area filled with Author Avatars and in-jokes. It has no bearing on the story, it's just an Easter Egg — but that doesn't make it any less fun. Unlike a Debug Room, which almost always requires a code (sometimes a built-in one, sometimes not), a Developer's Room can often be reached on a normal playthrough.


Examples:

  • Antichamber has several, all of them hidden behind some of the game's most challenging puzzles.
  • Chrono Trigger: The "best" ending, achieved by beating the game as soon as possible, is one of these, with enough developer-avatars to fill a dozen rooms.
    • Ditto for the sequel, Chrono Cross.
    • You can also access this in Chrono Trigger if you manage to prevail in the Hopeless Boss Fight - as said boss has dramatically boosted stats compared to any other time you fight it, it's actually easier to beat it by the above method (which can involve fighting the final boss alone).
  • During the credits of Driver, Tanner drives through Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the hometown of Reflections. This was originally meant to be a playable area, but got Dummied Out, although there is a mod for the PC version that allows access to it.
  • Final Fantasy IV: It's hidden in the Dwarves' castle. It was removed from the English-language SNES release (probably due to content that wouldn't have met Nintendo's censorship standards at the time), then restored in later versions. Note that the characters found in the DS version are different, to reflect the development team for that version specifically.
    • The location is also accessible in After Years as well, but the place is empty and there's a note on the door that says "Old Developer's Room, new location will be posted later". A Later chapter changes the sign to read "Please do not look for us". The new location is on the moon, found by using a warp to go to "???" after a major story event and then using a secret passage.
  • SaGa Frontier: Can only be accessed after completing all the characters' stories. You can re-battle bosses from other stories with the character you most recently cleared with, and there are some stronger versions of bosses to be fought there as well.
    • The English patch for Romancing Saga 3 by Mana_Sword also added one into the game, accessible via an overelaborate sidequest bordering on Urban Legend of Zelda in execution (kill a specific major boss with a specific party member present, kick him out of the party, listen to the song he sings afterwards, take the new item that has somehow appeared in your storage, go bug a random NPC until he takes it and tells you to go pray for a miracle, get another specific party member in your party, get to the end of a semi-obscure dungeon that now has a new option in the dialogue box that pops up at the end). It uses Shinon, a town normally inaccessible beyond the introductory cutscene as its base and unlike most other examples given here, it does give you several pieces of Game Breaker equipment, including a powered-up form of a weapon that's only normally usable in battle temporarily, a powerful spear that's normally only gotten as a random drop from a powerful boss and a stupidly powerful piece of armor that normally comes pre-equipped on a certain character, can't be removed once equipped (not that you'd want to) and you only normally get vastly inferior fake versions of it during normal gameplay.
    • Another SNES fan translation that followed the Romancing Saga 3 example is Cyber Knight.
  • The original Star Ocean on SNES also has one, which is accessible by using the otherwise useless Oracle skill after beating the game: strangely enough, doing so is also the only way to leave the final dungeon and visit the Bonus Dungeon located elsewhere, which doesn't become accessible until you beat the game.
  • Pokemon Red And Blue had the Celadon Mansion, which broke the fourth wall splendidly in a lot of places, including where the player character refused to play with a computer in case he "bugged up the game". Every subsequent game in the series has a hotel or such where the player can meet the game's staff. Doing so after having completed the Pokédex will get you a certificate from them.
    • This is also how you unlock the GB Sounds key item in Pokemon Heart Gold And Soul Silver.
    • Pokemon Black And White lets you battle one of them. His team the highest level Pokémon for an NPC (except Cynthia) in the entire game, though it's much weaker than most of the other post-game bosses due to being composed of significantly weaker species..
  • The Ratchet & Clank series has the Insomniac Museum, which can be accessed in Going Commando (by getting all Skill Points and Weapon Mods or by using a hidden teleporter at 3:00 AM; It's developed by Insomniac Games after all), Up Your Arsenal (by getting all trophies or using a hidden teleporter at 3:00 AM again) and A Crack in Time (by defeating Bonus Boss Lord Vorselon for the third time after rescuing all Zoni). As its name implies, it also doubles as a behind-the-scenes gallery of things scrapped during development of the games.
  • Gauntlet: Dark Legacy had a secret stage taking place in the offices of Midway, and had a lot of in-jokes although the developers themselves never appeared (a few of their faces did, if I remember correctly).
    • Rush 2: Extreme Racing USA has a secret, entire course set in Midway's offices.
  • City of Heroes has one... well, two, both more specific to the artists than the devs in general. The original was in City Of Villains, in the highest level zone, with a "No Players Allowed" sign in front. Recently this place got trashed (it's still there, just in ruins), and the new Developer's Room is in one of the newer City Of Heroes zones. It's not closed off as such, just pretty well-hidden. The first lasted for some time before a player found it, and the second was discovered in days (or maybe hours) after the zone was introduced.
  • Star Control 2 was going to have one of these as the Secret of the Rainbow Worlds, but they ended up not doing it since they couldn't come up with enough gags for it.
  • Adventure had the famous Easter Egg room where the developer signed his name with the walls. (When it was made, Atari had a policy of not including programmer credits).
  • Even early works with no NPCs to speak of, such as Scott Adams's Adventureland, include rooms like "I'm in the memory RAM of an IBM PC. I took a wrong turn!"
  • In one of the Leisure Suit Larry games, the people in the Disco are named after the devs.
    • In Leisure Suit Larry 3: Passionate Patti in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals, the player can find developers Al Lowe and Ken Williams in several places: When first approaching the two at a club, the player can say a short phrase to the two, after which Al and Ken discuss the idea of putting themselves in the game and having Larry say something to them, only to conclude that it's way too implausible and teleport away.
  • As listed in the opening quote, Conquests of the Longbow. The developers vacillate over how many points to give you, finally deciding on zero.
  • Fallout 2 has one as a random encounter on the world map.
    • Fallout 3 has an area called the Bethesda Ruins, which actually is an upscale suburb (Bethesda, Maryland) in the Washington, DC metro area. And yes, that's where Bethesda Softworks was founded in real life (they since relocated north to Rockville, Maryland, which although is also in the DC area, is completely absent from the game).
      • The designers prided themselves on how geographically accurate the map of DC is. After all, they do live there.
    • If you hold shift while clicking on the credits option on the main menu, both Fallout 1 and Fallout 2 will instead show you a series of quotes and messages from the developers and playtesters.
    • The Fallout 2 Restoration Mod features a special encounter on the world map that can only be seen after beating the game, featuring everyone who worked on the mod as Star Wars characters.
  • In Vampyr, the gods of the world that the player meets in Heaven after dying are the programmers of the game. They judge the player based on his actions, and presumably allow him to be reincarnated. It's also possible to fight them, but they're bloody tough. Killing one particular eunuch jester in Heaven gains the player a whole load of experience points and the favour of the gods.
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time had a developer's room in the remake of Prince of Persia, in place of the exit to the first level. The room was full of discarded snack boxes and had a giant mural of the game's staff on the far wall.
  • Serious Sam includes a room in the first level which is filled with giant-headed versions of all the developers.
  • Not an actual room that can be explored, but in Earthbound checking a sign in Fourside reveals the message "Planning Meeting for Earthbound 2."
    • Earthbound 2 itself has what is more of a Developer's Hotel Room. This can't be explored either, but you can listen to the dialogue of the people inside.
  • The first Dark Forces game features a hidden room in the fourth level. It's unusual as a trope example because you explicitly need a code to get there (the one that toggles height check, so you can fall any distance without dying and climb any cliff just by bumping into it). You get to shoot an ewok.
  • Blood has the Monolith office as a Blood Bath level, most noticeable for featuring the cut Beast monster which Caleb would have originally been able to transform into.
  • A minor sidequest in Terranigma would unlock the developers room.
  • After the credits roll in Mission: Impossible for the N64, the character is returned to the embassy level from the beginning of the game, except this time, the party goers are replaced by the game's developers.
  • Might and Magic 6, 7 and 8 each featured a dungeon called NWC full of civilians with the names of New World Computing (the games' developer) employees. Might and Magic 6 even has Jon Van Caneghem (CEO of NWC) and Trip Hawkins (CEO of 3DO, who owned NWC at the time) represented as hostile goblins that attacked your party.
  • In FreeSpace 2, a cheat code will cause a pirate ship to warp in (that's right, a pirate ship. In a space combat game) with the developers' faces on the pirates.
    • And it is the single toughest ship in the game, with ten billion hitpoints... several orders of magnitude more than a Sathanas juggernaut!
  • Dungeon Siege II has a secret dungeon that has high level groundhogs and copies of your party members that you must defeat in order to reach the developers room.
  • Divine Divinity has a secret area which developers are in, and needs to be rescued. One of them will grant you game's secret armor after you destroy all the bugs (as in, game bugs).
  • Zombies Ate My Neighbors finishes on one of these. After defeating Dr Tongue, you go to a bonus level, "The Monsters Among Us," set in the LucasArts office and featuring Author Avatars.
  • The granddaddy of all adventure games, Colossal Cave, features something like this. When you have solved all the puzzles, you are transported to a backstage area full of game props and snoozing dwarves, and have to make your way to the exit.
  • Max Payne has two: One hidden room where you get a radio message from the developers, and one where a TV plays a short Star Trek parody with the characters voiced by the developers.
  • In Deus Ex: Invisible War, when you get to the snowed-over UNATCO base, if you flush the toilet in Manderley's office, then you'll access a secret dance party, complete with floating data cubes containing quotes from the development of the game and characters from all over the game saying odd things. Make sure you save your game before you enter, though! The only way out of the dance party is to reload your last save.
    • This was also a Shout-Out to the original game where fiddling with the flag in Manderly's office early on in the game unlocked a special dance party ending cutsecene
  • In Drawn to Life, if you donate enough coins to a well, you will be taken to the "developer's grove".
  • Ambrosia Software rents office space in Harry The Handsome Executive's setting, ScumCo Tower. The staff is out when you visit, but they each left you a memo.
  • Freeware game Standstill Girl has one in the form of Alice's Backyard. You can unlock it with a password; it gives some details about the True Ending and about the game development.
  • In episode 2 of Biomenace, there's one level that seems to be nothing but a long chamber with a villain-gloat cutscene in the middle. But some tricky jumping can reveal a special key and land the player at a secret door (helpfully labelled "Secret Door") containing three developers, one of whom complains to another about leaving the door key where the hero could get it. The room has some handy powerups and various (unusable) items from other Apogee games. If you shoot the developers, one pulls out a rapid-fire version of the game's strongest player weapon and proceeds to mow you down unless you get out quick.
  • In Beyond Zork, you can travel to the dimension of the Implementors (development team) and have lunch with them.
    • In a variant, the earlier Infocom game Enchanter allowed you to summon the Implementors.
  • World of Warcraft has the "Developers Playground", where many objects and NPCs are strewn about randomly as they were being tested out. There are also many 90 degree cliffs, broken patches of terrain, and spots where the third person camera that usually follows the player stops moving as you run away. While it's inaccessible to players on live servers, earlier versions of the game had some tricks that allowed access to similar development areas. One area, the Caverns of Time, was accessible by normal players months before it was added in the next expansion pack, in a semi-unfinished state.
  • King's Quest IV: The Perils Of Rosella. If you go to a certain room (in certain versions of the game) and enter the text command "Beam Me", you end up in a starship in orbit, staffed by sprite versions of the people at Sierra who made the game.
  • LEGO Island 2: The Brickster's Revenge (for the PC) had a room hidden in the cave on the side of a mountain that, with the proper typed code and 100% game completion, contained LEGO avatars of a good deal of the design and production team for the game.
  • Completing Utawarerumono nets you this as well as Battle Data, a sort of bonus achievements set. The devs try and kill you for some reason or another. You'll also find To Heart and Comic Party references.
  • Escape Velocity Nova includes a star system hidden in the middle of dead space after completing a major story-line, which holds ships designed to be avatars of dev team members who are also found randomly in the game.
  • Microsoft Excel of all programs had one: the surprisingly creepy Hall of Tortured Souls in Excel 95.
  • The PC version of Chips Challenge contains a secret level called "Thanks to..." in which the developers' names are spelled in the tiles, and a "hint" block thanks the testing team.
  • The ROM hack Super Mario World 2+3: The Essence Star has one in the final level where, during the Pop Quiz, if you give the wrong answer to the final question, you will see a scene where the author has to deal with people demanding him to pay for the use of their graphics.
  • La-Mulana has three developer rooms, one for each of the game's three developers. You need a special ROM combination to be able to listen to them.
  • Morrowind has a few, but the most infamous is ToddTest, which contains NPCs with such dignified names as Todd's Super Tester Guy and Pretty Kitty. The area contains one of nearly every type of item in the game.
  • Shoot a broken wall after beating the last boss in Quake II and you'll find a room with gigantic pics of the developers. Activate them for extra fun, then drop down a hole to find a relaxing Tank surrounded by rotting cyborg hotties.
  • In Scribblenauts, one of the teleporter's six destinations is one of these.
  • Painkiller: Battle Out Of Hell has a secret level featuring portraits of the developers scattered around a castle, and the goal is to collect all their souls and leave. This level is only accessible by beating Battle Out Of Hell on Trauma difficulty, which in itself is only accessible by collecting at least 9 out of the 10 possible Black Tarot cards and beating the game on Nightmare difficulty.
  • ZOMG has one of these, consisting of a tavern in the First Town.
  • Eternal Daughter has one. You can't actually enter the room; your character can only sit quietly in the secret passage on one side, watching the game's two developers as one works on the code and the other works on graphics of the main character herself.
    "Hey, I just got a great idea for Eternal Daughter 2..."
    "...shut up, shut up, shut up!"
  • The old 1980's text game Transylvania had a hidden chamber full of the company's mascot penguins wearing sunglasses who would deliver an advertisement for one of the company's other games. The PC then wakes up outside the room again, feeling disoriented.
  • Logic gate-programming game Robot Odyssey: Escape from Robotropolis had one that was fairly easy to access that gave you a suitcase and a keyhole that didn't do anything.
    • The Java fan remake, Droidquest, used this room as part of the method for accessing the secret sixth level of puzzles.
  • Completing Brave Soul at least once will unlock the Staff Room. This place has the best weapon shop in game, and the person you need to talk to for unlocking the Bonus Dungeon.
  • The final level in Doom II contains a hidden room with John Romero's head in it. (In fact, the Romero head is the actual final boss - the big demon you shoot at is just a wall texture.)
  • Chex Quest has a secret dimly-lit room with photos of the development team on all the walls.
  • Each of the Marathon games had a "developer's terminal" hidden in its final stage.
    • Halo: Reach also had a developer's room with Marathon-style terminals. It was used in a cutscene as Dr. Halsey's lab; the terminals are even written from her perspective.
  • Duke Nukem 3D has a developer's level, inaccessible in normal gameplay that contains the developers as dead astronaut wall textures. They can also be seen with Duke in the ending of the third episode.
  • Even Garry's Mod uses this trope: there is a secret room in the default map (gm_construct) that can be accessed via noclip and contains a "thank you" message from the mapper.
  • Related: The Chris Houlihan room in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, which can only be reached by forcing the game to glitch. The reason for this is that it's not a unanimous Developer's Room; Chris Houlihan was actually the winner of a contest that was only supported by some of the people who were localizing the game. As the game got passed back and forth while it was being worked on, the room was added, removed, and added again so often that eventually one of the guys got fed up and put it in, but hid it so that the haters wouldn't notice he'd done it and take the room out again.
  • Custom Robo had one after beating the entire game in the apartment next door of the protagonist's room.
  • Mercenary: The Second City had a series of triangular doors in different locations in the game. These doors would normally require a triangular key but this did not appear in the game, and the manual stated "only the author has it". There was, in fact, an easter egg which would allow these doors to be opened, giving access to a developer's room: a massive hall with the endpoint of every triangle door in the game (allowing you to teleport quickly around the game, and to escape from prisons that would normally have no exit) and a bar of gold that could be sold for enough money to buy anything in the game.
  • Vette has the island suburb of Alameda, which is where Spectrum Holobyte was headquartered.
  • Misao has one that can be accessed by entering a special code after reaching the "Truth" ending. This allows the player to see some prototype artwork and learn details about the characters only revealed inside.
  • The Neverwinter Nights Game Mod July Anarchy: Prologue is meant to be played with a precreated character included in the game files. Trying to play the mod without playing as him sticks the player in a cross-shaped room whose floor, walls, and ceiling are covered in lava like a cheap symbolic Hell. The room is occupied by special NPCs representing characters that were deleted from the current version of the mod, with a description explaining their in-development history and why they don't appear in the mod.
  • Dragon Age: Origins has the graveyard in Haven, which is filled with tombstones containing quips and jokes from the dev team, such as "Here Lies Multiplayer." The graveyard can only be accessed by leaving Haven after completing the Gauntlet, then returning later. Since there is no plot-related reason to go back to Haven once you've acquired the Sacred Ashes of Andraste, it's extremely easy to miss this particular Easter Egg.
  • The VGA remake of Quest for Glory I turns Baron von Spielberg's throne room into this at the end of the game, with members of the dev team making cameos amongst the normal characters.

Debug RoomVideo Game RewardsDiscount Card
Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreenImageSource/Video GamesThe Missingno.

alternative title(s): Developer Room
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